SAO PAULO Feb 23 Brazilian police made two
arrests and carried out 15 search warrants in the state of Rio
de Janeiro on Thursday in the latest phase of a sweeping
investigation into corruption at state-run oil company Petroleo
Federal police said in a statement the principal target of
the day's operation were two alleged money launderers involved
in funneling payments to senior executives at Petrobras, as the
company is known. The statement did not name the suspects.
The sprawling, three-year-old graft probe, named Operation
Car Wash after its origins at a gas station in the capital
Brasilia, has uncovered at least 6.4 billion reais ($2.1
billion) in bribes for contracts with state-run enterprises.
Dozens of senior executives and powerful politicians have
been caught up in the investigation, including former Rio
governor Sergio Cabral, who was arrested in November and now
faces charges of corruption and money laundering.
Prosecutors have accused Cabral of leading a criminal
organization that took 224 million reais in bribes from
construction firms in exchange for infrastructure contracts from
2007 to 2014, when he was serving as governor.
Cabral's lawyers have denied he has committed any crimes.
($1 = 3.06 reais)
(Reporting by Brad Haynes and Eduardo Simoes; Editing by Mark